World Wise

You hold your dig­i­tal life in the palm of your hand. Guard it well

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Ross Atkin­son & Dan Booth

Caveat Vi­a­tor – Trav­el­ers hold their dig­i­tal lives in their hands

The mo­bile de­vices trav­el­ers carry aren’t just ex­pen­sive lit­tle con­ve­niences any­more. Depend­ing on the em­ployee’s de­gree of ac­cess, they can be the keys to the king­dom, open­ing up your com­pany’s data, ap­pli­ca­tions, con­tent and more. The value of mo­bile de­vices has risen, as has their role as ac­cess points to one’s per­sonal and com­pany data, which is more and more be­ing housed on mo­bile clouds. This change in kind also im­pacts other fac­tors sur­round­ing “mo­bile first” man­age­ment think­ing. For ex­am­ple, mo­bile se­cu­rity has never been about se­cur­ing the de­vice, but about se­cur­ing the data it can ac­cess. Thus more and more com­pa­nies are mov­ing be­yond de­vice man­age­ment to se­cur­ing all cor­po­rate as­sets. These are the con­clu­sions of Dig­i­tal Man­age­ment Inc. (DMI), a provider of end-to-end mo­bile en­ter­prise so­lu­tions.

With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of con­nected de­vices, mo­bile and oth­er­wise, se­cu­rity spe­cial­ists have noted that the prob­a­bil­ity of cy­ber­at­tacks is in­creas­ing across all busi­ness sec­tors. As a re­sult or­ga­ni­za­tions are adopt­ing cy­ber­se­cu­rity coun­ter­mea­sures to pro­tect the en­tire ecosys­tem of com­put­ing re­sources, in­for­ma­tion, net­works and ap­pli­ca­tions. Nu­mer­ous “at­tack sur­faces”– points of vul­ner­a­bil­ity – have opened up in re­sources con­nected to cloud com­put­ing, big data, wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion and the In­ter­net of Things.

More Ac­cess Points than Ever

Mo­bil­ity is no longer merely a trend; it is to­day’s per­va­sive tech­nol­ogy in­flu­enc­ing both per­sonal and busi­ness life. The cor­ner was turned last year, when 1.2 bil­lion smart­phones were sold, an in­crease of 23 per­cent over 2013. In this en­vi­ron­ment, DMI ad­vises the time has come for en­ter­prises to re­think ex­ist­ing busi­ness mod­els by cap­i­tal­iz­ing on a“mo­bile first”back­bone to change the way they do busi­ness.

The travel in­dus­try is one sec­tor where the need for pru­dence is most ev­i­dent. Travel providers, book­ing and pay­ment ser­vices, mo­bile net­works and tech­nol­ogy giants are all con­verg­ing into the trav­eler’s palm. As more mo­bile de­vices be­come ac­cess points to trans­ac­tional in­for­ma­tion and per­sonal data, the need to main­tain the se­cu­rity around these de­vices be­comes crit­i­cal.

For ex­am­ple, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional has an­nounced that it will be­come the first global hos­pi­tal­ity com­pany to of­fer Ap­ple Pay. Guests will be able to use their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or soon, their Ap­ple Watch, at check-in to cap­ture the pay­ment in­for­ma­tion. There will be no need to pro­vide a credit card. The ser­vice will be phased in this sum­mer in the US.

In another de­vel­op­ment, Trav­elClick and Google have en­tered into an ex­panded part­ner­ship to en­able“one-click”mo­bile web book­ings us­ing Google Wal­let. And re­search in Sin­ga­pore re­veals that mo­bile is emerg­ing as the next chan­nel of pref­er­ence for both cus­tomer pri­or­ity and fre­quency of in­ter­ac­tion with their banks.

Ac­cord­ing to Nitin Bhat, part­ner at Frost & Sul­li­van, Sin­ga­pore­ans rely on many sources to find in­for­ma­tion about new fi­nan­cial prod­ucts or ser­vices but only use a small num­ber of chan­nels for ac­tual pur­chases: branch, web­site and con­tact cen­ter – but mo­bile bank­ing is emerg­ing as one of the top pur­chas­ing chan­nels for Sin­ga­pore cus­tomers.

How­ever fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion and cor­po­rate data are not the only points of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties for trav­el­ers. Per­sonal in­for­ma­tion is also be­ing ag­gre­gated to help travel providers en­gage their cus­tomers with highly tai­lored, pre­cisely tar­geted ser­vices. One such ag­gre­ga­tor is Rev­inate, a San Fran­cisco-based tech­nol­ogy com­pany which com­piles rich so­cial guest pro­files through its in­Guest plat­form.

Rev­inate claims that“in­Guest en­ables hote­liers to truly un­der­stand their guests, an­tic­i­pate their needs and ex­e­cute pre­cisely tar­geted mar­ket­ing cam­paigns by con­nect­ing reser­va­tion, so­cial media and guest feed­back data.”in­Guest com­piles reser­va­tion (PMS) data and stay his­to­ries, guest pref­er­ences, so­cial media ac­tiv­ity and guest feed­back to“en­gage with them more ef­fec­tively be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter their stays.”

Ac­cess to per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, bank ac­counts, com­pany se­crets, and even­tu­ally even our houses and our cars – with so many“at­tack sur­faces”out there, cy­berthugs have more rea­sons than ever to as­sault the un­wary mo­bile user. Ev­ery dig­i­tal em­ployee needs to un­der­stand the power they hold in their hand, and the steps they can take to pro­tect it. BT

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